Macron flew to Berlin in his first full day in office on Monday for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel over how to inject new life into the Franco-German relationship and the troubled European project.
Professor Anand Menon, the director of research initiative United Kingdom in a Changing Europe, warned Marine Le Pen would “be back in 2022” if the French President fails to reform France and build its economy.
Shortly after Philippe’s appointment, Macron was scheduled to travel to Berlin on his first foreign trip as French leader.
It is a delicate balancing act, as centrist Mr Macron tries to redesign French politics by borrowing ministers from left and right, and combining new faces with experienced heavyweights who can help him make his mark on European and world affairs.
Notable in this regard are the appointments of Republican Bruno La Maire, former Agriculture Minister during the Nicolas Sarkozy presidency, as Economy Minister, and Gerald Darmanin, an LR functionary, as Budget Minister.
The Republicans, who are biggest challenge to Macron’s start-up Republic on the Move party in the legislative elections but lag behind it in opinion polls, accused the new president of trying to muddle the political debate.
French President Emmanuel Macron’s office is delaying the announcement of the new government while authorities check the tax records and backgrounds of potential ministers.
Macron’s rhetoric about the need to harmonise European Union member states’ tax policies to end “social dumping”, where transnational corporations decamp to lower-pay, lower-tax economies, carries the unspoken proviso that this would bring a huge reduction in French corporate taxation and, as a result, public spending.
Philippe is close to former presidential candidate Alain Juppe.
Diplomats say Macron will want to push for a common European Union position on issues from the migration crisis to Syria’s civil war, and from U.S. President Donald Trump to Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
Relatively unknown outside his Le Havre fiefdom, he has already crossed the floor once in his career, defecting from the Socialists to the Republicans as a young politician.
Other key figures instrumental in Macron’s sensational victory in this month’s election were given senior roles, with the Socialist mayor of Lyon, Gerard Collomb, named as interior minister while centrist ally Francois Bayrou becomes justice minister.
Le Drian, taking over from predecessor Jean-Marc Ayrault on Wednesday, said he sees continuity between his previous position as head of the French defense ministry and his new diplomatic job.
A day after his inauguration, the fervently pro-EU Macron made his first trip overseas to Germany, the other half of the power couple driving European integration.
Merkel warmly welcomed the fourth president to occupy the Elysee Palace since she came to power 12 years ago.
Macron, a centrist, was elected last week, defeating anti-EU, anti-immigrant candidate Marine Le Pen.
“First we need to work on what we want to do, and then if it turns out it needs treaty changes, then we – or at least I – will be prepared to do that”, she said.